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How to get the most out of your swim training

swim training

Swimming is an amazing exercise. If you want to make the most of your time in the pool, then you need to make sure you’re doing your training right. Don’t just dive in, start swimming, and hope for the best. A clear routine with areas to focus on will vastly improve the way you train, and make you a better swimmer. Here are some of the most important tips to keep in mind for your swim training. Follow these steps, and you will start to see much better results. 

1. Set Targets

Each time you train in the pool, try to set goals. This could be for your training session as a whole, or even for individual sets and repeats. Make sure that you’re always trying to hit a certain target, and that you’ve always got something to achieve. 

If you’re just trying to reach the end of your swim training session, then you won’t progress as quickly. Keep an eye on the clock while you swim, and set micro-goals and targets throughout your training session. This will give your swim training more purpose, and it will keep you more engaged each time you get into the pool.

2. Have a Pre-Workout Routine

You need to make sure that your body is in top condition before you get in the pool and start your workout. Having a dedicated routine before each swim training session will help you to stay in better shape and get more out of each training session. A routine will also help your body to know that it's time to get in the pool, which makes it easier to mentally prepare for your workout.

This routine doesn’t have to be complicated. Just make sure that you’re properly hydrated and have eaten something. Do some stretches, maybe listen to a song, and make sure that it’s a repeatable process.

swimming in a lake

3. Focus On Your Breathing

A lot of people forget to focus on their breathing while working out. This is important for allowing you to swim longer. Good breathing techniques also help you to reserve more energy. Each time you swim, develop a steady rhythm for your breathing. A good tactic for training your breathing is to focus on slower, longer swimming sessions.

4. Work All Of Your Muscles

Swimming is one of the best ways to work out your entire body. Each different stroke works a different muscle group. With each training session, you should try to do a solid workout across all of the major muscle groups in your body, instead of just focusing on certain strokes or your speed. 

Make sure to change your swim strokes up regularly, and spend an even amount of time working different muscle groups. Listen to your body while you do this. If you need to spend more time working your thighs, then spend more time on breaststroke. If you need to activate your core more, then spend more time doing backstroke. Pay attention to the muscles being worked with each stroke, and understand how you can achieve a full-body workout with swimming. Swim fins can be a great addition to certain training regimes.

muscle training

5. Establish a Training Routine

Don’t just dive into the pool and swim until you’re tired. You should have a training routine in mind before you start each session. This allows you to develop a smart training strategy before you get started. Doing this makes sure that you can achieve a full-body workout while incorporating those goals and targets that we mentioned earlier. 

Of course, you can always adjust your routine while you’re swimming. Make sure that you start every session with a warmup, and end every session with a swim down. These should be about 100m, or two laps, each at an easy pace. Earplugs will also help you on longer swim training sessions.

6. Swim in Intervals

Swim training should be done in intervals, and not just as one long routine. Try to break up your laps with breaks, sprints, and swimming at a slow pace. This will help you to focus more on each element of your swim training session, and it can do wonders for your fitness levels. 

There are many different ways that you can include intervals in your swim training. You could sprint one length, and recover on the length back. You could dedicate set times for different paces and breaks. You could also just focus on a certain number of laps for sprint, moderate, and easy paces.

swim training

7. Track Your Progress

One of the best ways to stay motivated and make sure that you’re always improving is to track your swimming progress. Keep a logbook of your swimming progress, with your training routines and lap times. This will give you a clear indication of what your personal bests are, and what you are looking to beat. 

Watching your progress from a written perspective gives you a better indication of how your workouts are improving and how you’re managing to hit your goals. 

8. Do More Than Just Laps

There are many ways that you can do a full workout in the pool beyond just swimming laps. Try to incorporate a few additional routines into your swim training sessions. This can help you to develop a more well-rounded training strategy that does more for your body.

For example, you can push yourself up and down on the edges of the pool to work your triceps and anterior shoulders. You could focus on holding your breath underwater between laps, or treading water. The shallow end can also be used to perform various exercises, like squats or running on the spot. The extra water resistance will do a lot for your routine.

Conclusion

Consciously focusing on these elements of your swim training will help you to improve your fitness and technique much faster. It will also make your training sessions a lot more enjoyable. Keep these 8 tips in mind next time you get into the pool, and you will start to see far better results.